Caudal false face patterns on the larvae of Florida swallowtails (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae).

  • M. C. Minno
  • T. C. Emmel
Keywords: defensive behavior, immature stages, Papilio, protective coloration


The mature larvae of four Florida swallowtail species that feed and rest in the open on their host plants possess distinctive false-face patterns on the caudal end; these are exposed to approaching predators coming up stems or leaf petioles. Larvae of three Florida swallowtail species with frightening patterns and eyespots on the cephalic end, on the other hand, make rolled leaf shelters to hide in between feeding bouts, and the enlarged false faces typically "stare" out of the shelters at predators approaching from the leaf petioles or stems.